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Poems by Martha McFerren


From a review by George Cleveland:

“Martha McFerren looks for wisdom in the world around her, which includes, of course, the past and its narrative expression in myth. . . .” Read the Full Review.

From a review by A Word’s Worth Blog:

“This book of poetry by Martha McFerren, who is a master of the wry line, is an antidote to the literary works of a literalist, historicized society of the West that has discarded the "power of myth" . . . her poems reflect sharp insights into humankind—its myths, philosophies, and foibles . . . the metaphors are apt; the humor is piquant and flawless.” Read the Full Review.

“Martha McFerren ends a poem by noting wryly, ‘This was a dream brought on by too much education.’ McFerren is an erudite poet, but one alive to the present as much as to the histories, pre-histories, and myths that brought us to our moment—and she examines past and present with a sharp and amused eye. Reading Archaeology at Midnight, I laughed out loud at least two dozen times, a personal best for a book of poetry, and nodded more than twice as often as that, acknowledging her wise skepticism and her superb artistry.”—ANDREW HUDGINS, Author of American Rendering: New and Selected Poems

“I can think of no other poet who can inhabit the spirit, the world, and the lives of so many classical and historical figures and have them all conspire into a single, unique voice. In poems as beautifully written as they are daring, Martha McFerren gives us gravity through wit, the contemporary through the eternal. Archaeology at Midnight is a triumph of originality and surprise.”—JOHN SKOYLES, Author of The Situation

“McFerren is a wickedly entertaining siren of a poet. Her new book of poems is a wonderful, cheering, roundly entertaining collection, made all the more worth having by its satiric view of our grosser behaviors, foibles, and weirder affections. I plain liked it from beginning to end and urge it on all readers of nerve, desire, and taste.”—DAVE SMITH, Author of Hunting Men: Reflections on a Life in American Poetry and Little Boats, Unsalvaged: Poems, 1992-2004


Harassed by the Dark Ages.pdf

“It’s not surprising I have Dark Age dreams,

after the books I’ve read. A frightened woman”


Adrift at Midnight.pdf

“The tide’s arriving now. I’m half asleep,

sliding my legs with liquid indolence, . . .”



“When the Civil War began,

Northern Alabama

had mountains and few slaves

and decided to secede

from the secession. . . .”

MARTHA MCFERREN received an MFA from Warren Wilson College and is the author of four previous books. Her poems have appeared in the Georgia Review, Southern Review, Shenandoah, and many other journals and anthologies. She is the recipient of an Artist Fellowship in Literature by the Louisiana Arts Council, a Yaddo Fellowship, and a National Endowment for the Arts Creative Writing Fellowship. She lives in New Orleans and is married to one of her better delusions.



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